Surface dries and forms dense shell with rise.


 I am new to baking bread of any sort. I managed to get my sour dough starter going very well by using the heat of a DSL modem. I just set the starter bowl on top of the modem and it was one day later that I was seeing the action that told me that it was right. 

My problem is that my dough forms a crust as I wait for it to rise. I got a very good rise, but was compelled to try to pull that crust off, and you all know that did not go very well.

How do I avoid the dry crust on top of the dough before it is cooked?  

Thanks for all the help.. I'm a slow learner. 



267 users have voted.


eyendall 2011 September 5



You can cover your dough with a damp cloth; cover the bowl it is in with plactic wrap; or put the bowl containing the dough in a plastic bag. The point is to keep the dough away from the air and in a humid environment to stop it from drying-out. When ready to bake, take it out, slash the top, and immediately put it in the oven.

cross1242 2011 September 5

If your dough is developing a crust during bulk fermentaion, there are a couple of things to try:


(1) When the dough goes in the bowl for bulk fermentation, the bowl should be lightly oiled and the dough should be turned over so that even the top has a little oil on it.

(2) Cover the top of the bowl with cling-wrap so that the contents of the bowl can't dry.

(3) Your heat source, the DSL modem, may be too hot.  Put a small outdoor thermometer on it and see what it registers.  If it's 90 or 100 degrees, it's probably too hot.  Put the dough bowl next to the modem and cover both in another towel.  (Although there is then a chance that the modem won't be able to disapate its heat quickly enough and you'll destroy the modem.  Keep track of it's temperature.  If it keeps climbing, you may need a biger tent to cover it and the dough.

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